20 March 2020
Labor has outlined a straightforward plan to protect casual employees and contractors using the State Government’s buying and employing power.
The proposal builds on Labor’s calls over the past week to buttress small businesses and low income workers, offer assistance to renters and homeowners and other constructive measures.
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said: “Because of the economic impact of COVID-19, a lot of casual shift-workers and contractors have lost work and are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.
“The Berejiklian Government needs to set an example for business, take steps to guarantee basic economic protections and work for struggling casuals and contractors. We must leave no one behind.”
Labor’s straightforward plan to protect casual workers and contractors would:
- Give casuals and contractors employed by the State Government the same conditions and job protections – including sick leave – as permanent employees
- Ensure government suppliers are paid to keep their casuals and contractors in work, and to ensure those employees receive the same benefit as permanent staff
- Prioritise out of work casuals for job vacancies in the State Government.
There are almost 70,000 casual and temporary workers in the public sector and tens of thousands of more employed through Government suppliers.
Labor Shadow Minister for Finance and Small Business Daniel Mookhey said: “The NSW Government has unparalleled purchasing power, and is the largest employer in the State.
“Ms Berejiklian should use these powers to take care of casuals and contractors who may become sick, have to isolate, or who may have had their hours cut.
“Even if that means filling government job vacancies, where appropriate with those people.”
“At this time of uncertainty, the NSW Government must do everything it can to keep people in work. That must include not terminating any employment or other work engagement for the government or any of its bodies until this crisis passes. Anything less will put individuals and families at financial risk” — Adam Searle MLC, Labor Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations